A truly nasty thought

Has it occurred to anyone but me how convenient for us an Iraqi attack on our forces would be just about now? Getting a small commando force onto Iraqi territory shouldn’t be hard, and the known inaccuracy of mortar fire would account for the fact that the attack caused no actual casualties. Having been fired on, though, we would have no alternative to responding with massive force. That would let us out of the fruitless UN endgame, and give us the element of tactical surprise as well.

The beauty of it is that only a tiny number of people would need to know.

Yes, I know I should be ashamed of myself for even suggesting such a thing. Believe me, I am.

But if this war does happen to start with an Iraqi attack, remember who told you first.

Update Well, not precisely first; here’s something from ABC News that seems to suggest that we’re going to start the war before the war starts in order to avoid an Iraqi pre-emptive strike once it becomes obvious that war is about to start. Or something. Hey, you figure it out! It’s beyond me.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com